Guatemala asks Swedish, Venezuelan ambassadors to leave

GUATEMALA CITY — Sweden looked to Guatemala for an explanation on Friday after the Central American country asked both the European nation and Venezuela to remove their ambassadors and accused them of interfering in its internal affairs.

Sweden’s foreign minister says it is “very unfortunate” that the country’s ambassador to Guatemala has been ordered to leave.

Margot Walstrom says the Swedish government will ask for “further explanations” as to why ambassador Anders Kompass has been given 30 days to leave, adding the Scandinavian country’s stance and actions “in matters relating to human rights and anti-corruption are well known.”

A Guatemalan government press release Thursday said Guatemala also wants Venezuelan diplomat Elena Alicia Salcedo to depart.

Kompass is a well-known official and human rights defender. A few days earlier he had announced Sweden’s financial support for a United Nations-sponsored commission investigating corruption in Guatemala.

The commission, which goes by the initials CICIG, had accused Guatemala President Jimmy Morales of corruption related to alleged illegal campaign financing while he was secretary general of his party. Morales subsequently tried unsuccessfully to expel the commission’s head, Ivan Velasquez, from the country.

But Guatemala did not say why it was expelling Kompass and Salcedo beyond alleging “interference in its internal affairs.”

Sweden’s TT news agency says Guatemala’s ambassador to Sweden has been summoned, but did not say when.

At a press conference, foreign minister Sandra Jovel described the move as a sovereign decision by her government. She said there were no plans to expel other diplomats.

Former Guatemalan foreign minister Fernando Carrera said the government was trying to withdraw the financial and political support for the CICIG because of its investigations into corruption.

“It’s a desperate attempt, because the government has increasingly less internal support and must get rid of them,” Carrera said.

___

Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark contributed to this story.

Sonia Perez D., The Associated Press

Just Posted

Maxime Bernier reaches out to Red Deer

Voters looking at The People’s Party of Canada

Alberta municipalities gather in Red Deer for fall conference

About 1,700 people expected for Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference

Rocky-area widow pleads for better cardiac treatment for Central Albertans

Lillian Hay wonders if her late husband Grant would have survived with local cardiac catheterization

Festival of Trees lineup announced

Popular event has raised millions for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

Maskwacis Mall has gone solar

Ermineskin Cree Nation receives provincial funding for project

WATCH: Barbecue in support of Red Deer Food Bank

The sun came out for the sixth-annual Feed the Need community barbecue… Continue reading

Black communities seek cannabis amnesty as pot legalization nears

OTTAWA — Members of Canada’s black communities are praising the Liberals for… Continue reading

Goodale tours Ottawa area destroyed by tornado, says feds ready to provide help

DUNROBIN, Ont. — Canada’s public safety minister says the federal government is… Continue reading

Province reports first decrease in child welfare numbers in 15 years

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says the number of kids in the… Continue reading

Woman says boyfriend pressed her to ‘produce a baby’

FARGO, N.D. — A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant… Continue reading

Defence focuses on behaviour of teen killed by Chicago cop

CHICAGO — Lawyers for a white Chicago police officer on trial for… Continue reading

Washington wants Canada to improve spill plan for U.S. spur of Trans Mountain

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington’s Department of Ecology wants the Canadian government to… Continue reading

National Transportation Safety Board to determine cause of Air Canada close call

Video captured the moment that an Air Canada jet flew off course… Continue reading

Most Read